TODAY |

Jacinda Ardern says idea Govt holding back 'critical' Covid-19 information from public 'just nonsense'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the idea that the Government would hold back information from the public on Covid-19 is "just nonsense".

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Gerry Brownlee today said the Government's recent messaging on masks and testing was "interesting timing". Source: 1 NEWS

Her comments come after National's deputy leader Gerry Brownlee made comments at a press conference earlier today implying her Government knew more than they were letting on in the run up to the latest Alert Level announcements yesterday.

"I just think it was interesting that the messaging around a further outbreak of Covid-19 began a couple of weeks ago, about 10 days ago in fact, on top of that there was the issue of the masks we were encouraged to start purchasing and have them available in the emergency kit.

"Dr Bloomfield went a little bit further and in one interview I saw him suggesting people might wear a mask for one day a week just to get used to the idea.

"Then you had the Prime Minster’s visit to the mask factory and Dr Bloomfield having a test himself, after 102 days of no community transmission, all very interesting things to have happened a matter of hours before there was a notification of the largest residential part of New Zealand going into a lockdown," Mr Brownlee said.

Hipkins tells Brownlee to swap 'tinfoil hat for a face mask' after National hints at Covid-19 conspiracy

When challenged by reporters on what he meant by making the statement he said he was "just pointing out the facts".

Ms Ardern was asked about his comments at the 4pm Covid-19 briefing.

"You’ll recall it was actually on the day there was a change in National leadership from Todd Muller to Judith Collins that I first stood in front of you and talked about our resurgence plan.

"The idea that we would keep information back from the public when that is critical to us being able to look after their health and therefore their financial wellbeing and jobs, the idea we would do that is just nonsense," she said.

The Prime Minister went on to say she would prefer the Opposition channel its energy into the resurgence of Covid-19 in New Zealand and the effort to stamp it out.